On February 11, 2014, EDF presented their election platform to the European Parliament. The event, which was put on in cooperation with the European Parliament Disability Intergroup, drew a sizable number of MEPs. They all expressed support for the EDF manifesto’s primary goals.
MEP Adam Kosa who is also the President of the European Parliament Disability Intergroup, opened the event together with the Vice-President of the Intergroup. MEP Richard Howitt
“In the next term of the European Commission we need a fully-fledged directorate on disability issues and we hope that we will achieve that. It is time to bring a real change to the lives of persons with disabilities”, said MEP Adam Kosa.
“It is a profound sorrow for our nations and for Europe that we did not protect people with disabilities throughout the crisis. The ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is also in our project for the next five years, said MEP Richard Howitt, adding that “we are disappointed that the European Commission has not published the proposal for European Accessibility Act but it is not too late!”
EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, delivered the manifesto outlining the goals of the disability movement, saying that while legislative progress had been accomplished, the crisis had worsened the actual condition for people with disabilities. In order to promote a significant change in policy whereby public finances consolidation does not come at the expense of fundamental rights and social cohesion in the EU and does not serve to further exclude those who are already excluded, we need the vocal support of the European Parliament and of all candidates MEPs during the election campaign. We want people with disabilities to be able to exercise their right to vote and take part fully in the political process.
The President of the Socialists & Democrats Group, MEP Hannes Swoboda committed to push the European Commission about the European Accessibility Act: “I will propose to my colleagues, the other party group leaders of the European Parliament to urge the European Commission to publish the European Accessibility Act proposal immediately in a letter. This is my commitment.
MEP Jorgo Chatzimarkakis underlined the importance of the inclusion of 80 million Europeans with disabilities, who represent 16% of the EU population: “Persons with disabilities are an electorate that cannot be ignored.”
EDbN gives plenty support to the EDF Manifesto and asks the MEPs of the 28 countries that are collaborating to give support too.